cat advice, 6th gen 1.4 - Civinfo
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 12:39 Thread Starter
 
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cat advice, 6th gen 1.4

So I bought a cranky old 1999 Honda Civic as a runabout (1.4 is MB2 5dr D14A8 engine) Bargain banger for 300.

But I got Cat troubles; after a few months the exhaust started blowing so I stopped past Kwikfit and asked them to take a look....After receiving a 500 estimate for a new cat I said "thanks but no thanks", and decided to seek an alternative.

I bought a brand new, type approved but aftermarket Cat from an online company for fraction of the price and paid my local garage to fit it. Unfortunately the engine light has been on ever since, I tried to cancel it by disconnecting the battery but it always comes back within a day, I went back to the garage who plugged in their computer; the mechanic said the cat was not operating within the parameters that the ecu would like it to (i.e. it may not be converting gasses to within the normal range expected by the cars engine management system).

Would investing in some sort of fuel system cleaner and a thorough service likely make any worthwhile difference? Or would using higher octane fuel help the engine run cleaner?

I am hoping that someone here may have some suggestions on how to proceed? There is nothing wrong with the car and it is driving really well and the only fault code that showed up was the cat problem. My fear is that it may fail the MOT on emissions.

So thanks for reading my long post and hello from the North of Scotland.

Last edited by bigneil; 13th May 2015 at 13:07.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 13:16
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i would stick a fuel treatment in it on about half a tank so its highly concentrated run it for a week and try clearing the codes again.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 18:08 Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll give it a go and see if the EM light stays off.

In the mean time I found something rather interesting; I changed the spark plugs and HT leads last month. Bearing in mind I am not a mechanic or even an amateur tinkerer, I'm a novice with a set of spanners, a screw driver and some sockets, I became suspicious that I may have somehow cocked up the spark plug installation. So I had an investigation this afternoon, took the plugs back out and found 2 of them were quite black with sooty deposits. Those two plugs both had the washer (the one that sits between the lip on the plug and the engine) jammed at a slight angle a mm or so away from the lip of the plug, thus; the plug was not screwed properly down onto the engine. I freed up the washers applied a little copper grease between the washer and the lip of the spark plug to hold it in place, and gently put them pack in until finger tight, then torqued them up with the socket wrench.

It occurs to me that if these plugs were not able to ignite the fuel fully, it may have been depositing crud down through the exhaust and into the Cat (same as the crud on the plug).

so I reset the ecu again, but the EM light came straight back on when I drove it some hours later. It always seems to pop back on just as the engine reached operating temperature.

I remembered the code -Catalyst system efficiency below threshold.

Again sorry for the long post, If you read it all the way through I give you express permission to go to the fridge and pour yourself a beer
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 18:40
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Try cataclean it's very good stuff but a new cat should be fine, maybe it's faulty.
Secondly you can put a non type approved cat to your vehicle on that year and it will be cheaper than type approved.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 18:57 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Monstermind View Post
Try cataclean it's very good stuff but a new cat should be fine, maybe it's faulty.
Secondly you can put a non type approved cat to your vehicle on that year and it will be cheaper than type approved.
Thank you! I looked it up and read the reviews... for 15 it's definitely worth a shot.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 18:58
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I would also take it on a decent 10mile motorway run and try to keep the revs around 5000rpm to generate a lot of heat as this may help clean it out.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 13th May 2015, 20:13 Thread Starter
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One quick question; does the EM light go back off automatically when the problem is fixed or will it have to be 'cleared' ?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 29th May 2015, 13:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstermind View Post
Try cataclean it's very good stuff but a new cat should be fine, maybe it's faulty.
Secondly you can put a non type approved cat to your vehicle on that year and it will be cheaper than type approved.
I agree cataclean is great stuff. When I first got mine I bought it off an old boy and it was right on the emissions limits. After using cataclean it was perfect. I was a bit sceptical if it would work but I swear by it now.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 27th June 2015, 08:32 Thread Starter
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UPDATE:

The EM light always comes back on within minutes of being cleared. I think my local friendly mechanic hit the nail on the head when he suggested that the cat is a cheapo aftermarket one and as such, may not be operating to within the original specs of a genuine Honda cat, thus throwing up the catalyst efficiency code. I tried the Cataclean but the light still comes back on, looking on the bright side, I know the fuel system and exhaust is clean as a whistle now

MOT is in one month time, I am going to put it for the test as it stands. I need to see if it can pass on emissions before spending money on anything else it may need.


P.S I bought a replacement sensor at the same time as the cat, mechanic fitted it and said it put EM light on and so put the old one back in...which is currently still in. could the sensor be the issue?

Last edited by bigneil; 27th June 2015 at 08:34.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd July 2015, 13:43 Thread Starter
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Update: it failed on emissions; and a whole bunch of other stuff. My car is dead.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd July 2015, 13:46
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